New Information, New Inspiration
By Kristin Tomlinson
Clinical Nutritionist & Holistic Health Coach
“Do what you did, get what you got” is a favorite adage of mine. Meaning, we can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different result. Habits are hard set and despite our best efforts otherwise, we tend to slowly revert back to the old unconscious ways of doing things before we realize it. This especially applies to “dieting” (a word I dislike) and yo-yo eating over the course of many years.
Many women revert to the old standard of calorie restriction and cardio exercise to lose weight – the old frame of thinking for quick weight loss. The funny thing is that we think it works, but we tend to chase around the same 10 lbs. or more year after year. But is it really working if it’s a habitual pattern that does not keep the weight off year after year?
In order to change habits, we need two things: a new state of consciousness to work from, and correct information. There is a ton of information, too much information, floating around on the internet and from well-meaning friends about diet, nutrition and lifestyle. A lot of this information is garbage, doesn’t apply to our individual needs, or just reminds us of what we should be doing but aren’t. Working from information outside of ourselves without self-awareness about what our body truly needs is a big obstacle to achieving our desires. If we don’t succeed then we feel confused, frustrated and self-defeated year after year.
Instead of searching for yet more information or a magical solution, which comes from a state of “do what you did, get what you got” consciousness, we must first reconnect with a deeper, more intuitive space inside ourselves to get in touch with what we really need. This is a new state of consciousness – a paradigm shift - that leads us from our own intuition and self-awareness instead of swinging from here to there trying to make the next trendy quick fix work.
How can we start to create a different state of consciousness? The first step is to create a picture of what it is that you want. Write a story, daydream, make a list, the key here is to have a vision of yourself being who it is you truly want to be, living the life you want to live and believing that you can have it! This requires quieting down and putting meaningful effort into getting off the hamster wheel of constant stress so you can attune yourself to this new vision. Stress obscures our vision and makes it harder to connect with intuition and awareness.
A meaningful stress reducing practice on a regular basis is essential and just as important as the right food and the right exercise for a happy and healthy life. Especially for women approaching and beyond menopause, stress management and connection to ourselves can no longer be ignored (and for younger women, this is a skill to build NOW). When the mind is calm we are in the space for ideas to arise and we move from inspiration instead of desperation. This is fertile ground to learn new information and move forward.
This can be a hard sell to the calorie counting, cardio crazy mind, but calming stress hormones is a critical step in weight loss and creating good health and longevity. Exercise has its place, but it’s different for those who are chronically stressed. Look for activities that recharge your batteries on a regular basis – yoga, meditation, massage, body work, even taking a nap – put effort into slowing down the hamster wheel of stress.
Finally, get help and information from those who resonate with you and support your vision. Work with a teacher or a coach who can give you good information, support you and hold you accountable. Ask a friend to attend a class or workshop with you. We are all in this together. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed.
Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year.